It's a sad day when a film gets a better rating just because it doesn't fall into the normal "romantic comedy" cliches, but that's exactly what happened with Letters To Juliet. There's no crippled dog, no falling into a wedding cake, no mistaken identity. It's nice to see a film that actually tries to be romantic without trying to be wacky. Unfortunately, that's also the nicest thing I can say about this color by numbers film, as everything else in it is predictable.
Letters To Juliet stars Amanda Seyfried (who's much better than this) as Sophie, a woman who travels to Verona, Italy with her fiance. While he is checking out wines and cheeses, she joins a group that answers love questions written to Juliet of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (I suppose this is what happens to those women who never got over writing to Santa Claus as children). She answers a 50 year old note from a now 65 year old Claire (Vanessa Redgrave), and convinces Claire to come to Italy to find the love she lost. Claire brings along her grandson, who in the grand tradition of the romantic comedy, starts out annoying and ends up as the apple of Sophie's eye. "What?," you ask. "I thought she had a finance." Yeah, she does, but that wouldn't make for a good movie.
Oh, wait, this movie doesn't make for a good movie. It's hard to have two characters go from annoyance to love in the span of an hour and forty-five minutes, and the filmmakers here fail to do that. I just didn't believe that Sophie would fall for the grandson, and if the core romance of your romantic comedy doesn't work, than neither does the film.